Dear Reader:

It has been a long, hard, particularly bitter winter indeed, but it's over and a new summer is muscling its way past all objections and planting a sunny face in our path while winking new promise with a twinkling eye.

Winter it seems, always has a cost, but once paid we find ourselves free to indulge in the work and the while of another season . . . To stretch the limits of possibility and roll back the constraints imposed by whatever the hell I'm talking about. See? Told you it was a hard winter.

Anyway, things are always changing and stretching here at Writer's Cramp as well, and this year is no exception. As we slide into our seventh season of publication, WC is updating and streamlining its look and feel, adding a few things here and there and losing a couple of our less popular restrictions.

The really good news is that Writer's Cramp is going back to Old School values; we're dropping our subscription requirement and making everything on the site free. From current and new stories and poetry to everything in our massive archives, it's a dead cert you won't have to pay a sou. Or something to that effect.

You will notice a slight increase in advertising on some of the pages, but nothing to detract from the actual content; like those annoying pop ups or gimmicky flash movies that take forever to launch and regretfully inform you that your drive is not quite hard enough. No, nothing like that.

What has not changed is the caliber of writers contributing to The Cramp. Not only are our best loved writers working on new pieces for a special Summer Issue coming in mid-July, but we continue to attract new writers from all over the planet.

In the meantime, enjoy what we serve up in this, our build-up to another classic Issue of WC.

This summer we pay a tribute to Edgar Allan Poe. Could be reverential, could be howlingly funny, you'll have to drop by and see for yourself.

"DURING the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country; and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher."

Here we go . . .